As I draw to the end of my BBG 1.0 journey, I’ve been thinking about what to do next to challenge my body. I’ve been thinking of getting a personal trainer for a while now, but I’ve never really had the spare money, nor have I found someone I’m impressed with enough that I feel could push me to my extremes week after week. I also wanted to focus on improving my fitness first. Now that I’ve done all of the above sufficiently, I arranged my first personal training session.

My overall aim is to decrease my body fat percentage so each week we’ll be doing a whole body workout made up of HIIT (high intensity interval training) circuits. We began with a cardio warm-up that left my legs feeling like jelly. Unable to walk properly to the weights section, it’s safe to say I was fearful of what was to come. But 55 minutes and 3 near-puking/passing out experiences later, I’d made it through my first personal training session in over 3 years!

While laying on the stretching mats trying to stop my vision from being hazy, I had a quick check of the stats from my Polar FT4. They were as below:

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[For those that haven’t heard of a Polar FT4 before, it’s a heart rate monitor that straps around your chest and transmits information to a watch to give you live feedback on your performance. You can set your fat burning ‘zone’ and allows you to keep an eye on your heart rate as you’re training. I think it’s most useful during HIIT to ensure you’re working at the optimum 80-85% of your max heart rate (max HR = 220 – age in years). It is also suitable if you do gym classes to keep a track of the calories lost so you don’t overcompensate with food thinking you’ve burnt 600 calories when really you’ve only lost 350.
Note: don’t get too obsessive over the calories lost! Instead focus on your heart rate being in the desired zone)

So back to my session on Sunday; my heart rate reached a maximum of 173 (88%) which I was really surprised at as it’s the highest I’ve recorded it! I have a naturally low heart rate – my resting HR is around 53bpm – which is quite common for someone that is as active as I am, and will therefore require more work to get it to the higher numbers. Usually during a HIIT session my heart rate goes from 125 during rest and shoots up to 165 (84%). This type of interval training is well known for its fat burning results as well as being one of the best ways to increase your overall fitness and stamina. So if that’s your aim then stop spending 30 minutes on the cross trainer and hit the treadmill for 15-20 minutes of HIIT.

Those reading this – and have followed my fitness journey thus far – and are interested in Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide, her workouts are all based around HIIT circuits, which is what I can thank for my stamina being at the level it is. There is NO way I could have made it through the session with my personal trainer on Sunday as well as I did had I done it 3 months ago!

As intense as the session was, I didn’t walk – I mean crawl – out of the gym dreading repeating it the following week. I felt a huge sense of accomplishment at what I had just pushed my body to achieve and that feeling is what motivates you to do it again. Okay I struggled with stairs the day after, but nonetheless I can’t wait to do it again.

With a new personal trainer, comes a new meal plan. Depending on your goals it is usually worked out based on your daily macros (weight allowances of protein, fat and carbs) and depending on how detailed you want that to be, your trainer can break it down for you into set meals and snacks – or, if you know what you’re doing, then will just tell you how much of each you need to eat and leave you to it. The food in my plan isn’t too dissimilar to what I have been eating for the last few months – porridge, chicken, vegetables and fish – but I’ve had to cut down a lot on fruit which I LOVE and could eat all day, every day. That being said, I am allowed a serving of blueberries which are packed full of vitamins as well as iron, zinc and calcium. Here is my menu for Tuesday from the meal plan I have been set:

Breakfast – Porridge oats with blueberries
Snack 1 – 1oz of Almonds
Lunch – Chicken breast, broccoli, brown rice
Snack 2 – 1oz Almonds
Dinner – Tuna salad, spinach and spring onions
Snack 3 – Protein Shake & 1 tbsp peanut butter

The meal plan is easy enough to follow and each meal doesn’t take long to prepare, especially if you pre-cook things like chicken, sweet potatoes and vegetables.

While I understand not everyone wants to spend their hard-earned money on a personal trainer, or simply aren’t fond of the idea of someone shouting at them for an hour, there ways you can push your body to its limits. Once you’ve got that ‘motivation‘ thing I spoke about in a previous post (Strength Comes from Within) find a type of HIIT that interests you e.g. rowing, cycling, running, boxing etc. and go for as many intervals as you can. If you prefer to do weights then superset them by adding a cardio exercise in between reps, such as burpees or jump lunges. This is what the BBG is focussed around and really targets all aspects of a good solid workout.

My next post will be my full 12 week BBG review – I don’t know where the last 3 months have gone!? So keep an eye out for that one if you’re interested in starting that guide or just want to know a bit more about how it works. If you’ve got any questions you want me to answer about the guide, then comment below & I will do a little Q&A in the next post 🙂